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Texas Woman Sues Restaurant for $1 Million After Contracting ‘Fried Rice Syndrome’

A cook prepares Thai fried rice in the kitchen at Osha Thai Restaurant May 5, 2008 in San Francisco, California. As rice prices continue to climb and some places are limiting the number of bags small businesses can purchase, many Bay Area restaurants are being forced to raise menu prices …
Justin Sullivan/Getty

A Texas woman has filed a lawsuit seeking $1 million in damages after contracting “Fried Rice Syndrome” from allegedly spoiled food served at a Waxahachie buffet.

In her lawsuit, Germaine Mobley, 62, accuses the owners of the Asian King Buffet of leaving food out too long. Mobley claims she became violently ill after eating the fried rice in 2016, WFAA reported.

The woman said that the food tasted fine, but in the hours after she ate she became violently ill, had trouble breathing, and ended up at the hospital.

“I just started vomiting. The next morning, I was having problems breathing, so my husband called an ambulance,” Mobley alleges in her filing.

Court papers note that “as a result of consuming the fried rice in question, Mobley ingested Bacillus cereus.”

Bacillus cereus is a bacteria often found in food that has sat at room temperature for an extended period of time. It is often found in fried rice, hence the nickname “Fried Rice Syndrome.”

An entry on the bug by the Food and Drug Administration claims that illness from the bacteria usually only lasts 24 hours, but Mobley contends that she was hospitalized for eight days and was on a ventilator for two because she choked on her vomit while wearing an oxygen mask.

The woman further alleges that she had to go through extensive rehab after being released from the hospital.

“You just never dream that you would go out to eat and get that ill,” Mobley concluded adding that she hopes her lawsuit alerts people to the problem of Bacillus cereus.

However, the restaurant is demanding documented proof of all Mobley’s claims, especially because she admits in the lawsuit that she had medical problems before eating at their establishment.

Follow Warner Todd Huston on Twitter @warnerthuston.

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